Havana: The Revolutionary Moment

Havana: The Revolutionary Moment presents a unique collection of never-before-seen photographs by award-winning Magnum photographer Burt Glinn recording Fidel Castro's historic entry into Havana in 1959. Interviews and texts by legendary Cuban photographers and others, including Alberto "Korda" Gutierrez, Raul Corrales, Jose Figueroa, Salas, and more, provide an intimate, important perspective of that historical moment.

Hearing the news from Cuba, Burt Glinn left a New York party and hopped a plane to Havana on New Year's Eve, 1959. Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista had just fled the capital, routed by Fidel’s advancing rebel army. As the first rebel troops entered the city, chaos and anticipation of Fidel's arrival filled the streets; yet Fidel was still hundreds of miles away. Nobody knew exactly where. Glinn, arriving just after dawn on New Year’s Day, set out to record the transition, find Fidel, and document his triumphant entry into Havana. The photographs he returned withof Fidel thronged by his countrymen and women as he stopped to encourage them along the road to Havana, of troops embracing, and of fierce men and women alike taking up arms in the streetscapture the revolutionary fervor and idealistic anticipation of the moment.

Forty-two years later, in January 2001, Glinn returned to Havana, and gave this piece of Cuban history back to its people. The book and exhibition present an introduction by Cuban Minister of Plastic Arts, Rafael Acosta de Arriba; exclusive excerpts from a private interview between Fidel and Glinn; an essay on the nature of documentation and the photographic image in revolution; as well as interviews and historic images by master Cuban photographers who also photographed the birth of revolutionary Cuba, lending incisive commentary and context to Glinn's work.


back to top